Introducing the world's biggest science fest

The AAAS 2012 meeting in Vancouver will feature the latest on everything scientific, from talks on birth control to discussions of fake meat grown in a lab

Kate Lunau is covering the 2012 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver, a gathering of some of the world’s finest brains and celebrities of science. On Feb. 16-20, Lunau will bring you a sneak peak of the latest research and findings, posting to on anything from healthcare and climate change, to food security, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @Katelunau, #AAAS, #AAASmtg

Today is my last day in Toronto before I head to Vancouver for the AAAS Meeting, the annual conference of the biggest scientific society in the world (they publish the journal Science). All sorts of new research will be presented at this monster conference, which hasn’t been held outside the U.S. since 1981, when it was in Toronto. The program is a grab bag of amazing stuff: talks on the future of the ocean, the birth control pill, quantum computing, climate change, stem cells, the Arctic, the Large Hadron Collider, etc etc. It’s pretty overwhelming, and I know I’ll spend the next few days running around like crazy trying to fit in as much as I can.

A few of the session descriptions have left me really curious, like the one on “archaeoacoustics” (how ancient societies designed their ritual spaces to evoke emotion through sound), and another on fake meat, grown in a lab. There will be plenty of science stars in attendance, too, like RIM’s Mike Lazaridis, Carl Wieman from the White House, and Steve MacLean of the Canadian Space Agency.

Until Monday afternoon, when the meeting wraps up, I will be writing up sciency storm. You can find me @Katelunau and here, at

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.